“Nanna, did Adam and Eve have children?” we hear you ask.
Well, yes they did, our child, and two of their children, were called Cain and Abel. (Genesis 4:1-2)
“Did they love God, Grandad?” we hear you say, next.
One did, but sadly, one didn’t.
How did God know whether Cain or Abel loved God?
The answer to that question has an amazing story to it.
Do you remember how Adam and Eve had sinned against God, and because of that they would die?
Well, they were told by God that one day, the spiritual One with the Father, called “Logos” (meaning “The Word”) would come as a man and would die the death penalty for sin. (John 1:1-3, 14, 1 John 3:4, Romans 6:23, Romans 3:23)
This happened, many, many, many years later when Jesus Christ was born to Mary.
The one called The Word did this by changing from spirit which we can’t see, because it is invisible, to flesh, and being born as a tiny baby, just like you, our child.
Jesus lived a perfect life and he was put to death, shedding His blood, like an innocent lamb.
God taught Adam and Eve and their children, like Cain and Abel, that The Word, who was God with God our Father, would lovingly come to this earth. God told them He would pay the death for sin, so we can all be forgiven and live in God’s Family forever. (John 3:16)
To remind them not to sin, because God was going to have to come in the future to die for them, God told them to kill a lamb at chosen times of God, and burn its flesh on an altar.
God told Adam and Eve to teach their sons, like Cain and Abel, to do this as well.
Now, one day, Cain and Abel brought their sacrifices to an altar, as God had asked them to do. (Genesis 4:3-4)
But guess what?
Even though Cain grew mostly vegetables, he had a few sheep. He had a prized lamb that he did not want to sacrifice to God, as God said he should. (Genesis 4:2)
Cain was naughty and thought he could do things better than God.
So, because he was greedy, and stubborn against God, he just brought some of his vegetables and fruit that he had grown, to sacrifice, which was much easier and cheaper for him to give up.
Abel, his brother, loved God very much, and wisely did what God asked him to do.
Abel was a sheep herder, and he chose his best lamb in all of his flock, to sacrifice to God, because he was very thankful to God, for everything that God does for us, as children of God.
God was so happy with Abel’s sacrifice, God later had the apostle Paul say that he would be remembered for being a righteous hero of God, always. (Hebrews 11:4)
What would you have done, if you were Cain or Abel, our child?
Does it matter to God, how we worship God? (Matthew 15:9)
For example, when God tells us to stop from our normal work, to rest and worship God on the 7th day of each week, or on one of God’s annual Holy Days, to especially keep it holy, should we do what God says? Or should we worship God on the 1stday of the week or some other different day, than God has said, and say that day is holy? (Exodus 20:8-11)
Can we as people make something specially holy, or is God the only One who can make something holy?
Well Cain sinned like Adam and Eve, because he thought he could be smarter than God and do what he thought would be a holy sacrifice.
Cain’s thoughts were not right. Cain did not want to lovingly obey God. Cain did what he thought was right in his own mind. He was terribly wrong. (Proverbs 14:12)
Of course God could not accept Cain’s wrong sacrifice of fruit and vegetables and told him he had done wrong and sinned. (Genesis 4:5)
But, God loved Abel’s sacrifice of his best lamb.
Do you know what Cain did then?
Cain should have said he was sorry to God, shouldn’t he, our child?
But Cain did not repent to God, and he was so angry and jealous of his brother Abel, that he killed Abel.
Abel was the first martyr or faithful person to die, who loved God with all his heart.
God will raise up Abel again and make him alive again in the coming 1stResurrection, when Jesus Christ returns to this Earth, and he will live with Jesus, in the Kingdom of God over this whole earth. (Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 5:10, Daniel 7:18, Daniel 7:27)
Abel will forever be known as a hero of God. Abel will live forever with Jesus and God our Father and all of us too, as sons and daughters in God’s Family. (Ephesians 3:15, 2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
Won’t that be a wonderful reward for Abel for loving God and doing what God said?
When God came and asked Cain where his brother Abel was, Cain told a terrible lie.
Instead of being very sorry and saying “I repent of killing my brother Abel”, Cain said rudely to God: “Am I my brother’s keeper? Do you expect me to know everything about my brother and where he is?”
As punishment for Cain killing his brother Abel, God put a curse upon him. So Cain was penalised heavily by God for his sin of breaking the 6th Commandment.
He told him that he would be a wanderer on Earth and that he would have to leave his relatives. This was also another penalty God placed on Cain. So, Cain did not get away with his sin of murder, without being heavily penalised by God.
Further to these penalties, God also put a mark on Cain, so that no one would kill him, but he would have to spend the rest of his life feeling very guilty for his awful sin of murder and suffering the penalties for his stubborn lack of repentance. (Genesis 4:11-15)
Not only was he to bear his terrible guilt for the rest of his life, but because he stubbornly would not repent, he would be considered a shameful person of bad example, before all the other people on Earth.
God has different ways of dealing with individual people, according to God's wisdom and understanding about them and what is truly in their hearts and minds.
God wisely matches the punishment to fit the person and to fit the crime.
Nanna asks you, our child: “Which one of these two would you have been? Cain or Abel?”
To be a hero like Abel, means we should love God with all of our heart and mind and body, right? (Deuteronomy 6:5-6, Matthew 22:37-39)
Grandad asks you, too: “If you love God and do what God says, and bad things happen to you, will God always take care of you, no matter what happens?” (Romans 8:28, Romans 8:31, Romans 8:39)
To be continued in Chapter 5…